Music For Plants Is Real (Even If The Science Isn’t)

by Marie Rodriguez

Mort Garson set up a Moog synthesizer in his Laurel Canyon domestic studio at the sunrise of the Nineteen Seventies. In the early days of Moogs, the modular synthesizer changed into a massive piece of the system — a dizzying wall of knobs and inputs. “It appeared like a switchboard from the 1940s,” Garson’s daughter Day Darmet recalls. “It became just huge, with these kinds of wires. My mother and I notion that he had lost it.”

Music For Plants Is Real (Even If The Science Isn't) 2

Data Garden’s MIDI Sprout device is designed to translate electrical impulses from plants into musical notes.

Garson self-released the album Mother Earth’s Plantasia in 1976. He used his Moog to create the groovy vibe of its ten instrumental tracks. “Concerto for Philodendron & Pothos” twinkles like the first stars to emerge after sunset. “Symphony for a Spider Plant” bubbles with surprise. “A Mellow Mood for Maidenhair” bears lines of a psychedelic awakening. But this odd, soothing tune’s target audience was not people. It was for plants.

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